When the Bottom Drops Out: Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment

When the Bottom Drops Out: Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment

by Robert Bugh


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Nobody is immune to disappointment. Unfortunately, at some point all of us will face that horrific moment when the bottom completely drops out of out of our life, leaving us broken, devastated, and desperately searching for God’s grace.

Pastor and theologian Robert Bugh has experienced unthinkable pain and disappointment firsthand, having lost both his wife and his best friend to cancer within a year and a half of each other. Though devastating, Bugh’s tragedy also brought him into a stronger, deeper relationship with God.

When the Bottom Drops Out chronicles Rob’s journey from loss to restoration and shows readers how to find and hold tightly to Christ through even the most painful episodes of life. Bugh’s story is proof positive that while pain and disappointment are an unavoidable part of life, God is nonetheless faithful, holding us close at all times and in all circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414363493
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/29/2011
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

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When the Bottom Drops Out: Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
deusvitae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We Westerners, particularly in America, tend to have it pretty good when it comes to our existence. Whether we know it or not, most of us live rather charmed lives. The evils and difficulties of life that are front and center before so many-- illness, famine, oppression, and other such trials-- rarely come upon us. While there are many benefits to such a life, what happens when things start going wrong? What do we do when the "bottom drops out"?Robert Bugh recently experienced this type of trial when he lost both his best friend and then soon after his wife to cancer in the prime of life. He recounts his story and some of the lessons he has learned in When the Bottom Drops Out: Finding Grace in the Depths of Disappointment.The book describes first the death of his friend Tom and then his wife Carol and the lessons he learned throughout the process. He does well at illustrating stories of overcoming difficulties and standing firm in the face of challenge in Scripture with Joseph, Abraham, and Jeremiah. He describes the challenges experienced during the periods of the illnesses, the immediate after-effects of grief, the nuances of change vs. transition and how to handle both (with the Exodus story as a paradigm), and concludes with his later marriage to his best friend's widow and the challenges inherent in forming viable stepfamilies.The author is Evangelical with strong Calvinist flavors but at least recognizes the critical need for growth, development, and obedience in faith. Much of his Biblical commentary and exposition is sound but places a lot of trust in the proposition that Jeremiah wrote Lamentations.There is value in the book in terms of understanding that life was never promised to be all roses and cherries; sometimes an author's personal journey can be helpful to people in distress to see that there can be a way forward while holding firm to the faith. At times the book does get overly personal, which can be good but it also can limit the scope of the book. For one seeking to come to grips with the mortal illness of a loved one, this book has great value; for others seeking to come to grips with other tragedies, this book may not always hit the mark.Nevertheless, any message that reinforces our need to trust in God in the face of trials and difficulties, declaring that difficulties will come whether we like it or not, and therefore our need to prepare for such events is useful. Americans today often live in a fantasy world where everything should be great, and when things go wrong, it must be God's fault, maintaining a superficial faith that cannot withstand any such challenge. Problems in life is no evidence of being forsaken by God; problems in life happen, they try us and test us, and whether or not we continue to believe in God says far more about our level of trust in God than about God Himself. The Bible is replete with stories of people in far more dire straits than ourselves finding sustenance, strength, and ultimate deliverance through their trust in God. Few today can grapple with God with the questions of evil and suffering in complete faith like Job; faith seems to be the first casualty in such questions. It need not be, but it will demand the promotion of a more robust faith.Trials and difficulties will come; faith will be tested. Will it stand or not?*--book received as part of early review program
khale46 More than 1 year ago
This somewhat autobiographical book by Pastor Robert Bugh was written as a result of his own personal loss and grief. Reading other reviews of this book, I imagined I wouldn't be touched much by it's content but that it might be a good book to have on hand to give to someone else who has suffered the loss of a spouse. Well, God had things in mind with this book that I didn't expect. Yes the book is written mostly about grief and Robert uses a lot of stories/examples about his own loss of his wife Carol and his best friend Tom to cancer over the course of a couple of years. But one thing I didn't expect, was how he also touched on so many other areas of loss and grief. Robert Bugh is the pastor of a large church in Chicago. As a pastor, he had counseled others and had been there to witness loss in many peoples lives, but until he suffered so close to home in first the loss of his long time best friend to thyroid cancer and then his own wife to a rare form of melanoma, he didn't truly understand how hard it can be to recover and deal, despite of faith. As a Christian and a pastor, he knew to cling to Christ and to seek God's guidance and help, but it wasn't always easy. He questioned the wisdom of God's plan. He questioned his ability as a man, a friend, a father and a pastor to make it through the tough days and not destroy the ministry he had worked so hard for. He was in his laundry room and overwhelmed with stacks of laundry and the fact that it wasn't his normal job to do this when he realized a few key things about life and loss. Robert went into great detail throughout the book with use of his own and closely related current real life examples as well as Biblical examples of devastating loss. He spoke of Job and Jeremiah, but he also spoke of Joseph and Abraham. Men of God who you don't normally imagine being connected with grief, but he bound their own struggles and losses (not of spouse or people but status and things) and showed us how every loss can cause grief in varying levels and no grief is too small or something to be scoffed at. I was especially touched by some of his words regarding people who have struggled to get past and over divorce, financial losses and abuse. Since I have been a victim of abuse from my ex husband and subsequently divorced, I understood the unusual loss felt in those situations. Loss and grief that a lot of people don't acknowledge because they think you should be so glad to get out of the situation. One of the best things Robert stated in this book was that you don't ever get over something bad (grief/loss) but you CAN get through it. This book came at a time when I was struggling with continued feelings of loss and grief over things I have lost in my life over the last few years. I am very happy where I am and with who I am spending my life and wouldn't change that for anything, but I am also at times still saddened by the things that were lost to me. This book confirmed and comforted me in ways I didn't expect. I am so glad I chose this book and that God led me the direction he did. I give this book 5 stars. Not only is it an easy read and very personable and open, but it is very Biblically correct and solid in how to deal with loss on many levels. Robert Bugh is an excellent example of how you can find grace during disappointment, yet not act like it's all roses and butterflies. I loved the true honesty and the depth of his commitment to being true
LifesLittleSlices More than 1 year ago
When the bottom drops out is book that has so much pain and so much joy within it. With each page, you get a picture of what grief of a spouse is all about. He speaks of all the emotions one goes through in this difficult time. Following his journey through these trails is one reason why I choose this book. I like to read into people's emotions. While going through a difficult time in my life, I wrote, and now as I sit back and re-read those letters to myself, I am completely amazed how much truth and emotion comes out. Personally, I do not think God does horrible things to His people. I completely understand why people get mad at God. It is a true emotion. But one thing we have to do is put our feelings aside and remember His promises. He will never leave us nor forsake us..(Even in difficult times) Robert Bugh says, "When you feel your anger becoming anger toward God, remember that He is big enough to handle it. But then ask yourself, how is it ever helpful or right for a believer to be angry with God? He is all-knowing, loving, and perfect; we are not. So, when you get angry at God-and it will happen; it certainly happened to me-confess your anger, repent of it, and walk into submission." Robert Bugh 2011 First off, our spirit is perfect. Why? Because he is within us. (Emmanuel - God with us) If we are true believers and He lives within us, we are perfect as well. Now, our flesh isn't perfect and we must repent and confess of that daily. I know they is a devourer (Satan) roaming around making horrible things happen to God's people and God always gets the blame for it. Why do we do that? Because of our flesh. Our spirits must stay strong in Jesus Christ to overcome our fleshly thinking. We have to put the evil spirits under our feet, In Christ Jesus! I would recommend this book to ones who are trying to overcome grief and hardships but come into it with an open heart. Know who you are in Christ and know all His promises therein.